The poems in Elise Paschen s Bestiary explore domestic preoccupations set against the backdrop of the wild-heartedness, real and imagined, of the animal world, praises the poet Jason Shinder. In this modern-day Bestiary, or Book of Beasts, the line between animal and human is thinly-drawn the daughter of a Celtic king, through love, is transformed from beast to human; lovers take flight as moon and owl; manatees transform, before the explorers eyes, into mermaids. This dynamic runs throughout the collection: taking flight, hovering between air and earth, plunging, and then resurfacing from water. The poems create a constant engagement between what tethers us to our daily lives marriage, motherhood, raising a family, the loss of parents in old age and the desire for other worlds. Exploring notions of transformation, these poems cross thresholds between animal and human, between death and life.
Award-winning poet, Elise Paschen, creates in her third and most complex poetry collection, work which is elegant and passionate, preternaturally still and reckless all at once. Paschen displays a variety of form and nuance from ghazals to long-lined free verse poems. Writing out of a distinct Western literary tradition, but tapping into her Native American (Osage) roots, Paschen celebrates the mythic, the unusual, the magical glimpsed in the everyday.
- ISBN-13: 9781597091312
- ISBN-10: 1597091316
- Publisher: Red Hen Press
- Publish Date: April 2009
- Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.8 x 0.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.25 pounds
- Page Count: 80